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[NF] How do INFPs intuit things about people compared to INFJs and Vice Versa?

Anja

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Yes! My knee-jerk reaction is to believe that people are telling me the truth. It takes active effort for me to pick out unfavorable traits in people, and once I start I can have a hard time stopping.

INFJs seem to naturally notice an inconsistency in someone's story, and are quick to zero in on whatever is sticking out until they pick out the lie.

I take what people say at face value even when it's clear that they are exaggerating or outright lying. Everything a person says is telling you something about themselves!

The picking up on others' feelings? There are times when I feel sudden alarm, or other intense emotion, for no apparent reason. If I look around at who I am with I can generally see where it's coming from.

Am I actually "reading" their feelings? I don't know. Something in my makeup may be picking up subtle indications before either of us are even aware the emotion exists.

Over time I've learned to pay attention and it's a good skill to have.
 

Lexicon

Temporal Mechanic
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I take what people say at face value even when it's clear that they are exaggerating or outright lying. Everything a person says is telling you something about themselves!

The picking up on others' feelings? There are times when I feel sudden alarm, or other intense emotion, for no apparent reason. If I look around at who I am with I can generally see where it's coming from.

Am I actually "reading" their feelings? I don't know. Something in my makeup may be picking up subtle indications before either of us are even aware the emotion exists.

Over time I've learned to pay attention and it's a good skill to have.

To an extent, I'll agree.. I take what people say at face value, even when they're blatantly hiding something or otherwise being dishonest. In the sense that I won't make it apparent to them that I realize this. I won't call them on it. I want to see where they're going with it. Motivations. And yeah.. all because as you said, everything a person says is in a way telling you something about themselves. I certainly don't trust them.. but they aren't aware of that.

I definitely seem to be able to pick up on other people's feelings well; even people I've just met. I also have a tendency to understand a social group dynamic even when all parties are unfamiliar to me. If two people are sleeping together, or maybe used to, if there's some sort of tension or competition, or a closeness between two or more parties. Etc.

I take in everything at once, and patterns emerge and I see the chain links and follow along. I don't make my judgements known until I know the person better, as this is apt to make someone potentially uncomfortable.
 

Anja

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I also take everything in all at once, Lexicon. The room, the people, the emotion. Wham. All at once.

I have a name for it. Gestault awareness. Borrowed from the psych.

Then I need to break it down to make sense of it. Don't see the trees for the forest, so to speak.
 

poontanya

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OK, now I'm really spooked! I just got back from my lunchbreak, which I spent in the local mall. I was browsing in a bookshop when I felt drawn towards a corner I never usually explore.

Staring at me on the shelf was a huge hardback book with the title "TSUNAMI". Sure enough, it was all about the 2004 tsunami, literally minutes after our discussion here! When I opened the book it immediately fell open on a page discussing how a large tsunami could strike without warning in many locations around the world, possibly with even more casualties than in 2004.

At this point, I got one of those unmistakable Ni tingles down my spine; for me these are usually the hallmark of a genuine Intuition rather than a mere coincidence. :eek:

Wow, that's really interesting. My ex-boyfriend was an INFJ and he OFTEN spoke about having dreams that would come true.

So if INFJ's special powers are incredible intuiton and prophecy then........ an INFPs special powers are........... JUST TO KNOW PEOPLE AND THEIR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS?? Boring!!!......... I'd rather foretell the future. :MAD:
 

Stanton Moore

morose bourgeoisie
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Going further into this, with the abitity to "read people", do you guys have the dilemma of feeling someone else's emotion so strongly that you think that you have become that person and you just feel like you are going to "explode"?

...oh, yes. I can 'model' another person so strongly that it becomes a bit overwhelming...

But I can sometimes turn this off and on. It's like a room I can enter, and then leave again. Outside the room, I can see more logically, but inside it, is mostly feeling, which to me is the ability to see things from the other persons perspective. It's not empathy, but an attempt to model their internal emotions in an attampt to understand motive. I know that sounds crazy, but there it is.
 

Rebe

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What I know about people (interesting topic btw) stems from Si as in my storage of information and observations about cause and effect. This happened because of this last time so this time it will happen again because the motives/situations/personalities are similar/identical. And what I sense from Ne (which conflicts with Si) anything is possible, there is no limit, there are dozens of possibilities for each situation so even though in the past, it happened this way, if I don't have clear evidence that makes sense to me, then my mind explores many different options/scenarios. It leaves me very indecisive as to how to respond to someone sometimes.

My Si is broadened and complicated by Ne which is shaped/sculptured by Fi, meaning I have high expectations. I don't always know how to forgive people when they behave outside of what I consider ethical even if I somewhat understand where they are coming from. I am not always open to certain personality traits when they are abrasive to me and I have had bad experiences with it and I see no other possibility except that that person is not someone I should open myself to.

I don't know any healthy INFJs closely so I don't know what the contrast is. I am also great at predictions about the future as are ENFPs I hear so it is not just an INFJ specialty. :) It's the power (and curse) of intuition in the broad sense.
 

Southern Kross

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I do get vibes about things. These are more of an intuitive sense about things rather than a bizarre psychic understanding from a split second look (although that has happened once or twice) which seems to be more of an INFJ thing.
This has been a very enlightening thread. Thanks everyone for sharing. Since we are pretty much all INFs here, I'm going to allow myself to get alittle 'airy-fairy' and long-winded. :blush:

I can sometimes intuitively visualize emotions, almost as if they were physical objects. It's really hard to explain.. the best I can do is to describe them as having a string-like consistency, and usually they are intertwining with other emotions, rapidly moving along and 'slippery'. It's as if I could grab onto them to feel them, but never really be able to fully grasp them. Emotions don't always have the same feel, look, color, or brightness. They move with various speeds, some intertwine less with others, while others actually bend and fold upon themselves in insanely complicated pretzel like patterns. (The latter I tend to associate with INFJs.)

Sometimes I don't get the 'string-like' feeling at all, but something more akin to a rock. My ISTJ grandfather was like that; a huge but impenetrable pile of emotions.

My intuition is used largely to extrapolate and imagine possibilities. How would this person react to such and such? My intuition becomes greedy and wants to explore. I end up asking alot of questions if someone really interests me, or if I want to understand the emotion better. Metaphorically, I am reaching a hand out to 'feel' the emotion. It's all about studying and learning about what's going on underneath the surface. I'll even go as far as to create a archetype of someone in my head, and ask it questions, because for some crazy reason it actually can help me understand some things better.

My thinking and detailed oriented side come into play by analyzing and experimenting with details in the real world. It's probably the side of me that makes me ask people questions I already know the answers to, simply to see how they word their responses, or to see if they are lying. Once they answer, I put a check on my clipboard, and move on. How did they react when I challenged an idea? Did they maintain eye contact, lean in closer or pull away? *checks clipboard* They laughed just alittle bit too hard at that joke. *makes a note to explore this later*

I often find that I pick up certain details in the moment, but don't add them up until later when I'm reflecting and digesting everything. Then, suddenly, I realize that the person was probably lying to me, or that the girl was actually flirting with me. Oops!
I really relate to the above, especially the stuff about needing to digest and analyze information in reflection. I don't imagine the emotions as a physical thing though, but I can feel them intently as if I am experiencing them for real.

One final thing... INFPs can be very good at pretending to be other types, I think, because of our understanding of emotions. For example, ESTJ emotions often come across as sleek, shiny, hard, and thin to me. Oftentimes sharp, too. If I were to take the bundle of my emotions, and straighten and stretch them out a bit... perhaps set a couple of tangles off to the side, I can approximate ESTJ bahavior for a bit. I force my skin to become a bit thicker, I go into the situation knowing what I want, and I psych myself up a bit to do more social interaction that I normally would. Eventually, though, I tire out and go back to being my normal INFP self.
I can't do the pretending part. I can imagine all of the rich and complex feelings and motivations of another person very different to myself so clearly and entirely but I can't put that into action. The feeling is too abstract to employ it in a practical manner - my body and my mind can't really connect in that way. I just tend to play out scenes in my head.
 

Tiltyred

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Yes! My knee-jerk reaction is to believe that people are telling me the truth. It takes active effort for me to pick out unfavorable traits in people, and once I start I can have a hard time stopping.

INFJs seem to naturally notice an inconsistency in someone's story, and are quick to zero in on whatever is sticking out until they pick out the lie.

This is one thing I know I'm good at. I spot the glitch. Then I wait for the truth to come out. Or sometimes if I've had to wait too long, I just tell the other person their story has a hole in it, so what's the real deal? and they will tell me the rest of it. I always know when someone is hiding something.

"Spotted glitch" sounds like some weird English dish.
 
A

A window to the soul

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Both types seem highly intuitive about people but I'm curious about what each type's strengths and weaknesses are in relation to reading people? What are the differences?

My younger INFJ sister is highly intuitive with incredible accuracy. As smart as I may think I am, I have to hand it to her, she's good! She has my back, if I miss something. She sees what I don't see; it doesn't seem to work the other way around. I guess I see things through rose-colored glasses; then she sets me straight.
 

OrangeAppled

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I tend to reserve judgment for awhile and just observe. I don't like to jump to conclusions, even if I have a strong first impression. I do get vibes from people, but I sort of collect them & allow them to form a bigger picture. I often have the intuitive feeling of knowing something about someone without being able to explain why. It's just a collection of perceptions my mind has put together like a puzzle and I JUST KNOW. I agree that I need to retire alone to sort out these intuitions to make some sense of them, but it's not necessarily a linear process of analyzing. Strangely enough, I may give that person life in my head, put them in other situations, and from there learn more about them. If this sounds crazy, see my sig.

It's very easy for me to think of 100 reasons why a person may act a certain way (Ne, I suppose), and it is my tendency to choose the most noble reason, a.k.a., give them the benefit of the doubt. I'm not as naive as that sounds however...I do pass judgment at some point and it's not necessarily sugar-coated. I find it pretty easy to pick up on a person's emotional motivation, which can excuse or condemn them.

Understanding how another person feels, both in views, motivations, and emotions, is something like using my own feeling as some sort of metaphor for feeling in general, so that I can grasp feeling foreign to me. I relate everything back to myself, not because I am self-absorbed or because I have experienced so much myself, but my inner world of feeling is something like a reference point (as I said, for feeling in general). It's the known variable that I can use to infer what someone else is feeling, and often it's rather accurate, but of course not infallible by any means.

I think it's important to emphasize this extrapolation of feeling as the FiNe process, as there is much misconception that INFPs apply their direct experience/feeling in understanding people. Of course, like any human, experience can make one wiser and broaden your understanding of people and the world in general, but many INFPs report getting "wise for your years" comments because of this ability to grasp what they have never experienced almost as if they have. At the same time, I also don't like when people invalidate my feeling based on their own experience, and this awareness of individual variances in feeling adds to the cautious approach to making judgments about anything I've intuited about a person. MBTI has been a really interesting tool in helping me define vibes I get from people, why they may act as they do, and to be more accurate in ascribing them motivations.

I also think this extrapolation of feeling is partly why INFPs are so sensitive. In order to be acutely aware of Feeling in general, you have to be sensitive & feel lot, and you also need to be good at deciphering your own feeling. It deepens your understanding of other people.
 
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jtanSis1

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J gets a mental image of another while P gets an emotional image.
 

skylights

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I thought of saying this in my first response but didn't, I'd place the INFJ's introverted intuition as an immediate deductive response, and the INFP's introverted feeling as an inductive response; to a person, for example, just entering a room. The INFJ's response, is probably faster because they start at answer g and then go back to f,e,d,c,b,a to confirm answer g as correct. The INFP would start at a, and then induce b,c,d,e,f to confirm answer g as correct.

that's really interesting.

i think my processing is like:

a, d --> g

and then i have to work my way backwards g,f,e,d and d, c,b to get to a.

neat thread to be reading. :yes:
 

will5250

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You described Ni to a t. Note that anyone who tells you this means you're INFJ is a couple cans short of a six-pack.
I am certain that I utilize both Ne, and Ni. My Ne is a skilled pattern processor that compares observed behavior to learned patterns from other situations to predict behavior. Ni for me resides below the surface, and functions like a muse of sorts. I experience it like it is almost a separate being from myself almost with a mind of it's own, that loves me deeply, and would do anything for me, and I would swear it's a gifted mind reader. The difference between my Ne and my Ni is that Ne presents solutions as lists of possibilities, and my Ni presents solutions as this one thing is the answer you seek. My Ni communicates with me via symbolic image, and inner knowing that kind of bubbles up from deep inside.

This web site INFJ or INFP? a closer look is rich with information on the differences between INFJ and INFP in several subjects. This particular page on that site INFJ or INFP? a closer look backs up my observations.
 
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